Lebanon’s president approves historic Israel maritime border deal

The US-brokered agreement marks a breakthrough in relations between the two countries, which have formally been at war since Israel’s creation in 1948.

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun confirmed his country’s ratification of the maritime boundary agreement mediated by the United States and Israel, stating that negotiations had reached a “positive conclusion.”

Aoun said on Thursday that Lebanon regains 860 square kilometers (332 square miles) of contested maritime territory in the Mediterranean Sea that contains offshore gas reserves.

He stressed, however, that it did not clear the path for normalizing ties with Israel.

The establishment of the maritime boundary was the result of months of negotiations mediated by senior US official Amos Hochstein. It signifies a breakthrough in ties between the two nations, who have been officially at war since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

In a televised address, Aoun said, “This indirect agreement satisfies Lebanese requests and preserves all of our rights.”

Aoun made the news only hours after meeting with interim Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Speaker Nabih Berri, both of whom got copies of Hochstein’s most recent version of the deal this week.


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